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The impact of family policy packages on fertility trends in developed countries

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Author Info

  • Angela Luci

    ()
    (INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques Paris - INED, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Olivier Thevenon

    ()
    (INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques - INED)

Abstract

We examine how far fertility trends respond to family policies in OECD countries. In the light of the recent fertility rebound observed in several OECD countries, we empirically test the impact of different family policy settings on fertility, using data from 18 OECD countries that spans the years 1982 to 2007. Our results confirm that each instrument of the family policy package (paid leave, childcare services and financial transfers) has a positive influence, suggesting that the addition of these supports for working parents in a continuum during the early childhood is likely to facilitate parents' choice to have children. Policy levers do not have similar weight, however: in-cash benefits covering childhood after the year of childbirth and the coverage of childcare services for children under age three have a larger potential influence on fertility than leave entitlements and benefits granted around childbirth. Our findings are robust once controlling for birth postponement, endogeneity, time lagged fertility reactions and for different national contexts, such as economic development, female employment rates, labour market insecurity and childbearing norms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00660630.

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Date of creation: 14 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00660630

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00660630
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Related research

Keywords: family policies; fertility; demographic economics; female employment; gender economics;

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References

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  1. Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
  2. Day Creina, 2004. "The Dynamics of Fertility and Growth: Baby Boom, Bust and Bounce-Back," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, November.
  3. Angela Luci & Olivier Thevenon, 2010. "Does economic development drive the fertility rebound in OECD countries?," Working Papers hal-00520948, HAL.
  4. Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Cheaper Child Care, More Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  9. Joëlle Sleebos, 2003. "Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
  10. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
  11. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  12. Ron Lesthaeghe, 2010. "The Unfolding Story of the Second Demographic Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 211-251.
  13. Joshua R. Goldstein & Tomás Sobotka & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2009. "The End of "Lowest-Low" Fertility?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(4), pages 663-699.
  14. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
  15. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
  16. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Adema, Willem, 2012. "Setting the scene: The mix of family policy objectives and packages across the OECD," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 487-498.

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